If you have a business where you produce and sell products, more often than not there will come a time when you need to take a decision on investing in material handling products. Investing in material handling solutions is a big investment towards your business as a lot rides on it.
For starters, it is not an inexpensive purchase, so you really need to know what you are getting into and why. Then, the options available when it comes to handling materials is huge. And if that wasn’t confusing enough, you also have a lot of companies with expertise in offering material handling solutions.
The first thing you can do as a business owner is figure out what you really need, and then how much of it will be required. Then, you go out in the market shopping for someone providing material handling solutions. The benefit of going to an expert rather than doing all the shopping on your own is not just convenience, but the assurance that an expert has his eyes on what you are doing.
Before you finalize who that expert will be, make sure to ask them the following questions to ensure that you end up in someone’s very capable hands.
1. One stop shop
All businesses are different. You need to understand the needs for your business, and then figure out if the material providers will be able to provide all of them. It is always more convenient and cost-effective if you are associated with just one provider for all your material handling needs. This will ensure that they are aware of all your needs, understand your business in detail, and would be able to provide you customized service because of the considerable size of business you will bring to them.
Also, you don’t want to be calling a list of vendors when you have an issue with your handling materials. With one vendor, you will always only have one person to contact in case you need any assistance.
2. Available products
Once you know your needs, you should also know the products that you need. Once you know the products you need, you will be in a better place to understand how well your association with the vendor will be. It is always important to know if the vendor can provide you with all the handling materials you need, instead of giving you the products they have in stock.
Make sure that the vendor is keen on providing you the best products for your needs instead of just selling you things to make a profit of it.
3. Product expertise
You will come across some vendors that stock a lot of products but are not well-versed with the products. Some vendors would also be willing to source products for you that they do not generally have in stock. This may look like a great thing to do by the vendor, but it would also mean that they are not very knowledgeable about those products. Opt for vendors who are official dealers so they can help you with any issues you may face in the future.
As with most purchases, you need to find out the warranty situation of the things you buy. As things are used, they will have some issues over time. You need to be told clearly about the warranty of the products, how to claim them and the situations in which the warranty will not be honoured, if any.
5. Response time
Some vendors provide all-day support while others have fixed hours. Ask about their working hours and response times in case you have an issue. The lesser the response time, the better the option is.